Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The Rolling Knolls Landfill site is located in Chatham, New Jersey. A portion of the nearly 200-acre site was used primarily as a municipal landfill for just over 30 years. The landfill operated from the early 1930's to 1968 and received waste from various parties, including household garbage, construction and demolition debris, industrial waste, septic waste and scrap metal. . The Site has mixed ownership. The majority of the landfill area is privately owned, but approximately 35 acres are owned by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as part of the 7,700-acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, which is adjacent to the Site.


After initial investigations, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in September 2003.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

In 2005, EPA entered into a legal settlement under which potentially responsible parties (PRPs) agreed to conduct and pay for a thorough investigation of the site. The purpose of the investigation is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the site. After completion of the investigation, the agreement also includes the performance of a study that identifies and evaluates a number of potential cleanup alternatives to address contamination found at the site.

EPA approved the PRPs’ investigation work plan in the summer of 2007. Field work started in July 2007. The field work included visual inspections (including test pits) and sampling of both onsite and background soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment, as well as follow-up sampling in areas determined to require further exploration. Data gaps were identified and additional sampling was conducted in 2015, and in 2016 biota sampling and additional analyses were conducted as part of the ecological risk assessment.

A human health risk assessment was completed in 2014 and the ecological risk assessment was completed in December 2016. The Remedial Investigation was completed in January 2018 and identifies the nature and extent of contamination at the site.The human health risk assessment was updated in July 2018.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

A baseline human health risk assessment was completed in 2014 and identified unacceptable risks to current and future trespassers and potential future residential occupants. The baseline risk assessment was evaluated in 2016 to assess data gap sampling results and the risks identified remained the same.The baseline human health risk assessment was updated via a memo in July 2018 to include updated toxicity information, revised exposure scenario for trespassers/passive recreators and a re-evaluation of lead in soil due to new guidelines. 

A screening level ecological risk assessment was completed in 2013 and was followed by a baseline ecological risk assessment which was completed in December 2016 and updated in May 2018 via technical memo to recalculate site-wide risk.

The remedial investigation to characterize the nature and extent of contamination was completed in January 2018. A feasibility study is underway and will identify cleanup alternatives that will address risks posed by site contamination. EPA will develop a cleanup plan based on the feasibility study.

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